Forwarding Address: OS X

Thursday, October 31, 2002

A reader of this blog sez "I saw your message on Forwarding Address: OS X, regarding SNAX/Pathfinder. There is a rather good freeware Finder replacement, but it's very obscure because the author is Japanese and hasn't translated the docs (like mac users need docs.. ha!) Anyway, check out Coela: Freeware, you'll love it more than SNAX, I bet. Do me a favor and post the link on FA:OS X so everyone knows about it."

Wednesday, October 30, 2002

Apple has catalogued all the failings of Internet Explorer for OS X, all the ways in which the browser fails to support standards and render faithfully.

I raved earlier about SNAX, the veryvery handy Finder replacement. The folks at Cocoatech have majorly re-writen it and have changed the name to PathFinder. It s even better than before, and definitely worth the $30 shareware cost if you use the Finder much.

Thursday, October 24, 2002

Maybe I'm the last person on the planet to know about this, but on a recommendation from, I went into Finder Preferences and unchecked every language, even English, under "Languages for searching file contents." All of a sudden the Finder's performance sucks much, much less. (I'm using a 500mhz iBook with only 320 MB of RAM, not one of them dang hot-rods like you kids have.) I think I've asked the Finder to search within a range of files perhaps twice since adopting OS X; I'm much more liable to use grep. So this is a feature-for-performance trade-off I'm happy to make.

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

To give a first-person example supporting Paul's observation: a friend recently upgraded his girlfriend's iBook to OS X. He's a Unix geek, she's a brand-new novice Mac (and computer) user. He finds it incredibly attractive that he can trouble-shoot it his way while she uses it her way, and I no longer get tech support calls about OS 9, which makes me very happy.

Win-win baby, win-win.

Fully agree with the other Paul. What I find even more heartening is that bringing in the Unix geeks is not diminishng the attractiveness of the Mac to novices and art folks. They are orthogonal markets that Apple is courting in different ways. (Well, not completely different ways: the geek-attracting ads in Scientific American look like all the other Mac ads...)

Tuesday, October 22, 2002

O'Reilly is promoting Brian Jepson's forthcoming book Mac OS X for Unix Geeks (former working title "...Developers" I believe) with an article called Top Ten Mac OS X Tips for Unix Geeks. The cross-fertilization continues. I have to give credit to Steve Jobs -- his NeXTStep-rehash seemed like a wacky idea a couple years ago, but it has turned out to be a brilliant way to inject energy (in the form of really smart people) into the moribund Mac userbase. The groundswell of interest from the Unix community does not seem to have peaked, either.

Friday, October 18, 2002

Apple's giving free copies of OS X to K-12 teachers until December 31.

Thursday, October 17, 2002

More keen command-line stuff, pointed out to me by smart folks in the Mac conference on the Well: you can send man pages straight to your selected printer. For example, for a handy printed reference to the "open" command, type:
man -t open | lp
The "lp" command itself (part of the CUPS printing architecture in 10.2+) has all kinds of handy options, too -- for multiple copies, delayed printing, and so on. And now you know how to print the lp manpage...

Wednesday, October 16, 2002

From my new blog:

It sounds like Apple should not offer rebates if they have no intention of honoring them. An irate letter from a long-time Mac fan would hopefully wake up someone at Apple; maybe not.

At this point, the Apple Store is still being devious (read: dishonest) about rebates. They advertise rebates on some items, but when you read the fine print, you find out that the rebate only applies if you don't buy from the Apple Store. It looks like they are taking co-op advertising money but screwing the customer.

Sunday, October 13, 2002

Unsanity brings labels to OS X with the release of Labels X. Labels are one of the things I miss about OS 9 (actually, they may be the only thing) - this is incredibly cool!

Saturday, October 12, 2002

Some nifty but obscure (obscure to relative Unix newbies like me anyway) things come along with the BSD layer. For instance there's the "look" command, which by default searches /usr/share/dict/words (a list of about 250,000 English words and proper names). You can't use regular expressions with "look", though. For more flexibility (let's say you're a word-game nut), define this alias:
alias words cat /usr/share/dict/words | egrep
To mimic the behavior of look foo you'd type words -i ^foo, but now you can do many more cool and useless things (like finding all words in which the letters "abcde" appear in sequence: words "a.*b.*c.*d.*e"). You'll be completing impossible rhyming couplets faster than you can say "zygosporange."

Thursday, October 10, 2002

Gesture-based interface in any Cocoa App? Cocoa Gestures Cool.

I've been playing with the latest beta of the Codetek Virtual Desktop. The improvements over the first version are significant and well worth your time to check out, especially if you come from the X Windows world of 3x3 desktop setups. Having Netscape install it's own color palette not required. All kidding aside though, it makes using the 15" iMac much easier.

While I'm pimping apps, I might as well toss in a nod to TigerLaunch from Ranchero Software which has to be the simplest app launcher available for OS X. It installs a menu bar icon with a drop down full of your installed apps. You can configure the list of apps. Select an app from the list and it launches. That's all it does, but of course, what else would you need it to do? ;-)

Tuesday, October 08, 2002

Jaguar is touted as having termcap support rivaling xterm but I wasn't able to find out how to enable this in order to get colorized emacs on the console until Scot Ballard, an Apple System Engineer, was nice enough to show me the trick:
export TERM="xterm-color"
Thanks Scot!

And thanks for the tickets and for putting the panel together, Cory!

Wednesday, October 02, 2002

Apple VP Ken Bereskin has been describing one OS X feature per day on his Radio blog. Pretty damned handy, some of the things he describes. (Via

Tuesday, October 01, 2002

REAL Software has announced the impending release of REALbasic for Windows. Check out the FAQ for details. This is very cool: REALbasic has rapidly become one of the most flexible RAD tools for the Mac, to see it go head-to-head with VB will be very interesting.